The Texans will open up with another tough game this week, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. We know the Steelers have been markedly inconsistent this season on offense, but the defense (especially with the passing game) may be the toughest Houston has faced. What does that mean for the Texans fantasy plays this week?
Matt Schaub: NumberFire has Schaub projected for 242 passing yards with 1.39 touchdowns and 1 interception. That shakes out for 16 fantasy points, which ranks as the ninth-most among quarterbacks. The Steelers have allowed the 29th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, which may be a reason why Schaub has been downgraded. At the same time, the Steelers have faced the 10th, 28th and 30th-ranked QBs in points this season with Joe Flacco the only elite QB they've faced (and he shredded them for 224 yards and three touchdowns).
Andre Johnson: Keeping with that trend for the passing game, NumberFire has projected Dre for 9.86 points this week. That's good for the 12th most projected points among wide receivers this week. The projections say that he'll get five catches for 72 yards.
Arian Foster: The Texans No. 1 back is fully healthy according to head coach Gary Kubiak. That means he will do much better than previous weeks and is projected for 11.93 points. The Steelers have given up the 15th-most rushing yards this season, but have only given up one 100-yard rushing day this season (Ray Rice, Week 1). Foster may see his carries limited, but I'd look for him to get more of those in the red zone, making him a better play than you'd expect.
Owen Daniels: NumberFire has him down for four catches for 48 yards, which is good for 6.79 fantasy points. He's projected to have the eighth-most fantasy points of all tight ends. He also makes a very interesting play because of Troy Polamalu. The safety freelances more than most and I'll get into this more tomorrow, but I'd expect him to play more over the top on Andre Johnson than to cover the tight ends up the seams. That means it'll fall on the Steelers linebackers to cover Daniels, which is a favorable matchup for Houston.
Houston defense: According to NumberFire, the Houston defense will only get 6.9 points, giving up 24 points with one turnover and two sacks. That's the projection, but there are other factors pointing to Houston's defense having a better chance than that. For one thing, Pittsburgh is giving up the fourth-most points to opposing defenses this season and that's taking into account that they played the Colts and Seahawks. With a struggling Steelers line, Wade's front 7 could get a lot of pressure on Roethlisberger.